Steve Gilbert, the beat writer for the Arizona Diamondbacks at mlb.com, is participating in the D’backs’ fantasy camp at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Arizona. Many former D’backs, including Luis Gonzalez are on hand to play ball with some lucky fans. One of those former D’backs is Bernard Gilkey, who played with the team from August 1998 (after coming over from the New York Mets with Nelson Figueroa for Willie Blair and Jorge Fabregas) through the middle of the 2000 season. There is one interesting piece of information from Gilbert’s article (which can be read in its entirety by clicking here) and it this:
The Diamondbacks are paying Gilkey through 2017.
This is one of those deferred payment situations the current ownership inherited from the prior ownership who wanted to build an immediate winner in Arizona. Gilkey’s payments are the last deferred ones that need to be satisfied. Matt Williams is scheduled to receive a small payment this year and that’s it for him. As for his full season with the D’backs in 1999, he enjoyed a productive 294 at-bats. He hit eight home runs and drove in 39 runs with a slash line of .294/.379/.500 for the National League West champions. The following year, the outfielder batted only .110 in 78 at-bats before being released on June 27th.
Now at the age of 47, Gilkey is hoping to secure a coaching job in Minor League Baseball. Since he is already on the D’back’s payroll, perhaps he can actually earn his salary by coaching at one of the many Minor League affiliates.